Total Pageviews

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Writer's Life 9/2 - Novel in Progress

I'm reworking the first manuscript I ever completed, which I began in November 1975. Five Cents will have four levels: love story, readjustment of a combat veteran, the social changes America was undergoing in the early 70's, and the joy the senses bring. The hard copy was 630 pages. The Word file is currently less than 200. Gone are the leftist opinions of the young author, and the frustrations of a man trying to get published (yawn!). I attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where the narrative is set -- after the protagonist's last days in Vietnam. Since I've only revisited once for a few days in 1989, I'm not confident my memory will get get things about the city and school completely right. I've decided to call the town Kazoo and the institution simply Western. I've set the manuscript aside for a few months and jotted down more than a page of notes I plan to apply to it. One aspect of campus lore recently visited my brain. I asked three sources for verification. One, a bit younger than me, didn't remember it, and I immediately wondered if the cynicism of the times had already erased the archaic notion by the time she was a freshman, circa 1974. Another has yet to respond. A third, a married couple, partook. The legend had it that a female student was not officially a coed until she was kissed on the steps of East Hall, the oldest building on campus. In an email, the husband related another myth: it was said that a red-bricked chapel in the vicinity of East Campus would crumble when the first virgin graduated from Western. I will include that and hope that I can discover the name of the place. Thank you, Gordie and Barb.
The most difficult aspect of the novel is coming up with thoughts that do justice to the senses. Here are two of those and other snippets I will include in the next draft:
On the sweet nuts the protagonist buys on a street in NYC: It conjured thoughts of an exotic garden.
On reminiscing about taking dates to the movies: He salivated at the thought of the popcorn he'd shared, the aroma that pervaded the concession area.
Tom dozes off in the library, is awakened by bad dream about 'nam, students staring at him, leaves abruptly, then on coffee before going in.
He'd seen too many dead women and children to believe in God, then again other men had seen it and it had not prevented them from kneeling and praying fervently.
On Kent St. -- what happened? Malice? Panic similar to what happened to news guys in 'nam?

My thanks to Ira, who bought bios on Mel Torme, Eddie Fisher and Warren Beatty, and a book on the reminisces of people who vacationed in the Catskills; and to the young man who purchased Homer's Iliad; the teenager who bought the Patrick Lee thriller, Signal; and the gentleman who asked for a "Who Done It" after I'd packed the crates in the old Hyundai, who purchased Ed McBain's Nocturne.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

No comments:

Post a Comment